Healthier Gluten-Free Monster Cookies – Salted Plains

These Healthier Monster Cookies are made with almond flour, almond butter, gluten-free oats, pretzels, and chocolate pieces for a protein-packed, healthier, gluten-free cookie. Vegan.

Freshly baked monster cookies on top of crinkled white parchment paper.

You can find chocolate chip cookies of all kinds on this site. Olive oil chocolate chip, almond butter chocolate chip, and even tahini chocolate chip cookies.

And when chocolate chips aren’t quite enough, these peanut butter oatmeal choco chip, air fryer oatmeal chocolate chunk, and cowboy cookies ought to do the trick!

But even sometimes two mix-ins aren’t enough. This recipe is the ultimate mashup.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy recipe with simple ingredients
  • Fun to add your favorite mix-ins
  • Flourless cookies perfect for those with a gluten intolerance
  • Less sugar than the traditional recipe
Ingredients in a variety of small bowls to make monster cookies.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here are a few quick notes about the ingredients in this recipe. You can see a full list of ingredients and instructions in the recipe card below.

Almond butter – This ingredient does double duty as a binder and healthy fats. No coconut oil or vegan butter is needed. This also makes it safe for those with a peanut allergy. (Be sure to check the ingredient labels of other mix-ins). Sunflower seed butter is not recommended as it will chemically react with the baking soda and turn the cookie green!

Flax egg – Ground flaxseed and water combine to make an easy egg substitute. Plus a little healthy fiber!

Maple syrup & coconut sugar – Naturally refined sugar-free, maple syrup acts in place of refined white sugar and coconut sugar works in place of brown sugar. For a sweeter cookie, you can replace the coconut sugar with organic cane sugar.

Almond flour – Makes for a wonderfully chewy cookie with an almost butter flavor.

Gluten-free oats – Do make sure you are using certified gluten-free oats. Old-fashioned oats are recommended for their chewy texture, but quick oats will do in a pinch.

Dairy-free chocolate gems – You can find vegan versions of m&m type chocolate candies online and at many grocery stores such as the Unreal brand or Choco Yums from YumEarth. Dairy-free sem-sweet and dark chocolate chips are easily swapped in. Vegan white chocolate chips would be delicious too! The EnjoyLife brand chocolate chips, chunks, and white chips are both vegan and gluten-free.

Gluten-free pretzels – This gives our chewy monster cookies some salty crunch.

Love almond butter? Check out these healthy almond butter cookies!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Before you start: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare flax egg and set aside. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk the wet ingredients, almond butter, maple syrup, and flax egg together. Add the dry ingredients, the coconut sugar, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.

Step 2: Fold in gluten-free oats, then chocolate gems, and crushed pretzels.

Step 3: Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop (#60 size), scoop cookie dough and gently roll it into a loose ball with your hands. The cookie dough balls will be sticky, so spray your hands with cooking spray or lightly wet them with water as needed. Place cookie balls on the sheet pan in even rows.

Step 4: Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow cookies to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. 


Store these healthy monster cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-4 days. These cookies will soften over time.

Monster cookies with multi-colored chocolate candies stacked on a small white plate.


If you are not dairy-free, use different M&M candies colors to match the occasion. Not all M&M candy colors are gluten-free, so be sure to check labels before use. Here are a few ideas:

  • Go patriotic with red, white, and blue
  • Celebrate the holidays with red and green
  • Customize for baby showers or birthdays

Finding dairy-free options to match holidays or events can be tricky. Fold in gf colored sprinkles that match the occasion along with the other mix-ins.


Why is it called a monster cookie?

In the cookie repertoire, these are considered Frankenstein’s cookies are they are a mashup of oats, chocolate chips, and pretzels.

More Cookie Recipes

Love this recipe? Please consider leaving a 5-star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟rating on the recipe card below and let me know what you think in the comments!

Freshly baked monster cookies on top of a piece of crinkled white parchment paper.

Healthier Gluten-Free Monster Cookies

These Healthier Monster Cookies are made with almond flour, almond butter, gluten-free oats, pretzels, and chocolate pieces for a protein-packed, healthier, gluten-free cookie. Vegan.